The OCHS Fighting Hornets earned a superior rating at the VBODA State Assessments on Saturday, October 26, 2019.  This recognition is the first step in becoming a Virginia Blue Ribbon School and a Virginia Honor Band for another year.

What is a blue ribbon school?

A blue ribbon school, which is awarded by the VMEA (Virginia Music Educators Association), is a highly sought after award from every school that has a band, orchestra and choir program.  The school must earn a superior rating at the state assessment for marching band, orchestra and choir to earn a blue ribbon for the next year.  With a massive incline in the number of schools that achieved a blue ribbon for the 2019 school year, only 15% of schools applied and were recipients.  OCHS was one of those schools that achieved a blue ribbon for the 2019 school year!  The superior rating at this years state assessment is part one of three in achieving the 2020 blue ribbon!

What is the Virginia Honor Band Recognition?

VBODA (Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association) has established a state marching band assessment and concert assessment for which any school wishing to achieve a blue ribbon recognition must attend.  While a blue ribbon school includes the choral program, a Virginia Honor Band can be achieved by the music department alone.  The assessment on Saturday was one of two in achieving the Virginia Honor Band recognition.  Only 11% of schools applied and were recipients of the Virginia Honor Band recognition for the 2019 school year.

What does this all mean?

This means that our music program is currently among the top 15% in the state of Virginia!  It also means that our Marching Hornets are part of an elite 11% of the state of Virginia to achieve a rating that is superior in marching band and orchestra.  We are proud of the achievements and hard work that our Hornets drive for!  They put in many hours of rehearsal to achieve these goals.  Without this dedication, achieving these recognitions would not be possible.  We have had an amazing run this year and want to thank everyone for their support!

Special Thanks

We want to thank Tommy Doss and Cetch Waters for dedicating many hours of their time to making this program a huge success!  While many people think that being a band director is teaching kids how to play music during school, this is incorrect.  Our band directors are at school from sun up to sun down, and very often past midnight, putting in many hours of teaching our Hornets not only music skills, but life skills as well.  Leadership is what makes this program a huge success and we thank you!

Another person that deserves credit for the success of this program is Cassie Rathburn.  She is the engine that drives the colorguard.  There are many talented performers in our Hornet colorguard and in order for those performers to all lineup straight and make the show seem uniform, it takes a strong driving force.  That force is Cassie and her leadership skills.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication!

What next?

So, now that VBODA has witnessed our amazing show and has given us a superior rating, we can prepare for our concert assessment?  Not quite yet!  We still get to perform at one more home football game on November 1, 2019 and we are attending the Virginia Marching Band Cooperative State Championship on November 2, 2019 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.  This championship determines the best bands in the state, as they go head to head.  If you have not seen the final performance of your Hornets, now is the time!

Thank you again for all of your support!

#weareoc #marchinghornets

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